Staff Reporter

“Technicians should not be apprehensive of advancements in technology”

Piracy robbing film industry of rights, revenue: Balachander

CHENNAI: Actor Kamal Haasan requested the government to start Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) for aspiring technicians in the film industry. He was speaking at the 9th national conference of the All India Film Employees Confederation held here on Friday.

Organised by the Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI), the conference had technicians from across the country participating. “Technicians should not be apprehensive of advancements in technology. All we need to do is to train ourselves to meet the challenges,” Kamal Haasan said, adding that ITIs would give necessary training to technicians.

Delivering the welcome address earlier, director K. Balachander said the scourge of video piracy was robbing the film industry of both its rights and revenue. “We do not seem to have the political will or the police strength to wipe out this evil, but it has to be rooted out,” he said, emphasising that there was no awareness about the magnitude of the issue.

“Let us unite and fight the evil… Otherwise, cinema will become a memory as the tiger will soon be,” he said. He also suggested that a member of the confederation be allowed to serve as a member of the jury deciding the national awards.

Director Dasari Narayana Rao said only technicians had a permanent place in the industry. “Technicians can create a star, but no star can create a technician,” he said, stressing that provision of housing must be made a priority for technicians.

Union Minister of State for Information S. Jagathrakshakan said technicians were fundamental to the industry. Referring to the contributions made by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to films, he said all the requests could be put forth to him, for he knew how the industry worked.

Hindi actor Rajesh Khanna was presented a ‘Lifetime achievement award’ on the occasion.

Thanking the technicians, he said: “Technicians make stars out of heroes, and superstars out of stars. We are all one family.”

Director Mahesh Bhatt felicitated Rajesh Khanna and said the actor’s charm and charisma were magical.